The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) biweekly Protection of Civilians Report
On 19 March a 45-year-old Palestinian man who was allegedly throwing stones at Israeli forces, during a weekly protest near Beit Dajan village (Nablus), was shot and killed with live ammunition. The soldiers concerned are reportedly being debriefed. The fatality brings to three, the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank since the beginning of the year. Ten people were injured in the protests near Beit Dajan, which have been taking place every Friday for the past six months, against the establishment of a new outpost on village-owned land.
In addition to the ten above, another 53 Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces across the West Bank. Forty-three were wounded in confrontations in the Kafr ‘Aqab neighbourhood of East Jerusalem. Five were injured in two search-and-arrest operations in Beit Ummar (Hebron) and Bir Nabala (Jerusalem); four in the weekly protests against settlement expansion in Kufur Qaddoum (Qalqilia); and one while attempting to enter Israel through one of the breaches in the separation barrier in the Tulkarem area. Of the overall injuries, 40 were treated for tear gas inhalation, 16 by were hit by rubber bullets, and seven were physically assaulted, or hit by a tear gas canister. In addition, in Jericho, a Palestinian shepherd sustained injuries when an unexploded ordnance that he was handling detonated.
Israeli forces carried out 128 search-and-arrest operations and arrested 115 Palestinians, including five children, across the West Bank. The Ramallah governorate recorded the highest number of operations (27), followed by Tulkarem (21) and Hebron (18). In one operation in Al-Khalil (Hebron), (21) Palestinians were arrested.
The entry of Palestinians to the closed area of H2 (Hebron city), where they live, was delayed for long periods due to the re-introduction of heavy restrictions by Israeli forces at the checkpoint leading to Tel Rumeida neighbourhood. In this context, forces have required Palestinian residents to pass through metal detectors, which was has not been a requirement for several years.
Citing the lack of building permits, the Israeli authorities demolished or seized 26 Palestinian-owned structures in Area C and East Jerusalem, displacing 34 people, of whom 15 were children, and otherwise affecting about 40. Twenty-two structures were targeted on 17 March in four communities in Area C, including eight tents seized in Khirbet Tana (Nablus), displacing 18 people; and 11 uninhabited houses demolished in An Nuwei’ma Al Fauqa Bedouin community (Jericho), affecting 21 people. Four of the structures were demolished in East Jerusalem, including three by their owners, displacing 12 people.
Perpetrators known or believed to be Israeli settlers injured two Palestinians and damaged a few hundreds of Palestinian-owned trees. Both Palestinians were physically assaulted, one near Susiya community (Hebron) and the other while working his land near Al Khader (Bethlehem). Residents in the villages of Jalud, Khirbet Sarra and Tell in Nablus, and Ras Karkar and Deir Nidham in Ramallah, reported that about 300 trees and saplings had been vandalized. In Beit Iksa (Jerusalem) and Kafr ad Dik (Salfit), people known or believed to be settlers vandalized a house, three agricultural structures and three vehicles. In Al Baq’a area (Hebron), settlers started bulldozing privately-owned Palestinian land. Settlers blocked off a spring near Tubas, preventing Palestinian herders from accessing it. Settlers erected tents on land belonging to residents of Tuqu’ and Kisan villages (Bethlehem); in Kisan, they eventually removed the tents, and in Tuqu’ the Israeli authorities ordered them to remove them by 4 April.
Perpetrators believed to be Palestinians stoned Israeli-plated vehicles travelling on West Bank roads. As a result, ten vehicles sustained damage, according to Israeli sources.
In Gaza, on at least 17 occasions, Israeli forces opened warning fire near Israel’s perimeter fence or off the coast, presumably to enforce access restrictions, with no injuries reported. On two occasions, Israeli forces conducted land levelling near the fence inside Gaza. No injuries were reported.
A rocket was allegedly fired from Gaza into southern Israel, reportedly falling in an open area and resulting in no injuries or damage. Israeli airstrikes followed, reportedly striking military sites in Gaza, causing some damage.
Just released our Protection of Civilians report, covering two weeks in the occupied Palestinian territory: ochaopt.org/poc/16-29-march-2021